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Google Chrome Wrench Icon to be Replaced

Google Chrome’s familiar ‘Wrench’ icon is to be replaced by a new icon.

The ‘Wrench’ icon is used to denote the settings menu and has been present in every release of Chrome since 2008.

If you’re on the bleeding edge of Chrome development (i.e. the dev channels) then you’ll already know this; the new icon has been in place for a few weeks.

But if you’re not then look out for Chrome 23.x. Here, in place of the familiar wrench icon, will sit a stack of three lines, referred to by Chrome developers as a ‘hotdog’.

Chrome for Android users will note that the ‘hotdog’ icon is similar-ish to the stack of vertical square dots used for to denote menus throughout Android.

Chrome for Android

Surprisingly, given Chrome’s rapid developer schedule, this change marks the second notable change to Chrome’s toolbar since September 2010.

Back then, during Chrome 6.0, the ‘page’ and ‘tool’ menus were merged into one unified menu.

Will you miss it?

  • Not a big-deal for me, but will still miss the spanner….

  • Do I get it right – not the menu is replaced, but the icon for the menu? No, I think the new icon fits actually even better to the function.

  • I’d be happier if it was the 3 dots, like in Android.

    • Same here, it’d be unifying the “google” experience

  • Squeaks

    I like the three dots. Though, I kinda wonder why it’s there when you’re on Ubuntu (or Mac) specifically since you got the global menu to work with, anyway.

    • Lee Jarratt

      Yeah, I’d love an option on Ubuntu to disable the menu button for a more minimalist look.

  • mirek2

    Since horizontal bars have been historically used to mean “drag” (even on Chrome’s own Linux scroll bars), I would prefer if they used Android’s three dots instead.

    On the other hand, I’m glad they’re moving away from the wrench metaphor — it never felt like it would trigger a menu.

  • lol… Chrome carnary user here: There was a rench!?!

  • This menu should be hidden completely in Ubuntu… we have the global menu for god sakes

    • Fabio Meneghetti

      In settings you can choose to hide it.

      • rbs

        I only see :
        Show Home buttonAlways show the bookmarks barUse system title bar and borders

  • Yop Spanjers

    Why replace it?

  • Is that cat a Chrome thing, or is it just a theme?

    • In regards to the cat, it is a default icon for a profile when you add multiple users to a single installation of Chrome. My parent’s, for example, share a single account on their computer and have two separate accounts on Chrome. This allows their settings / accounts / bookmarks / installed apps to stay personalized.

  • shadowguy14

    Yes, focus on the wrench, it’s obviously more important than perfecting anything else..oh Google.

    • shadowguy14

      Why dislike this??

  • it has beem around for some time…

  • Joseph Price

    I like it, I like the wrench and all but this gives it a nice Google unified look and feel.

  • I noticed this change when the Dev version of Chrome 23 was pushed to my Chromebook. And of course, with the corresponding Chrome OS release comes other visual improvements. Among them: the replacement of the “activity bars” under pinned app and open window icons in the Aura task switcher with a white glow effect, a zoom-out effect when closing Chrome windows (but not “open as window” app windows), and the new window-based “wallpaper manager” finally becoming functional (but only in a half-baked manner, i.e. even though there’s an option in the new wallpaper manager to add your own pic as a background, there’s no submit button to apply the setting, meaning your pic will just sit there in the Wallpaper Manager and not become a new wallpaper).

  • Atul khatri

    So finally it got replaced today…thanx for the info mate :)

  • i like it better. it clearly denotes a main menu, rather than just settings. also, the inline and simplified settings pages are quite nice. very, very streamlined. plus, inline chrome sign-in pages are nice.

  • Sharon Lewis

    I thought that I was going crazy when I saw those 3 little bars on the top right corner of my screen. I thought I may have done something wrong on my computer. I actually liked the little wrench icon.

  • The wrench denoted tools. Three lines denote… nothing. Absolutely meaningless. Exactly how is this supposed to evoke an image of a hotdog? It’s obviously oh-so-important that we match whatever teenyboppers have on their phone, but wait, it doesn’t even match that. Change for a valid reason, fine. Change so that we make phone users more comfortable with the big scary computer? Fail, Google.

    • ZZA

      totally agree. What the hell is three lines supposed to mean? This is not intuitive. While a wrench, being a tool, is obvious and has a connection to the real world.

  • Matt

    Why change it? That just confuses those people who are not good with computers and get uncomfortable when things change around.

  • Jones

    Where my wrench go? :* ( #nothappy

  • Jones

    Ummmm… three bars. Yeah. that is pretty intuitive. Nice going guys.

  • Fred

    This is a BAD BAD idea. Many of the browser’s “help” files start with the step “Click on the WRENCH icon” Yeah, all you geniuses know it is now a HOT DOG or whatever, but WTF? That is like giving driving directions, and saying “Go down the highway until you get to the old church that ain’t there no more, then turn right…” Change ALL the HELP files, or KEEP the WRENCH. That was the only two sensible options here.

  • ROXY


    • Phillip Mikesell

      Wrenches are so 2011. They can’t even be eaten. Hot dogs, on the other hand, are the most useful tool and can be eaten.

  • Ant1976

    Can’t stand the new “hotdog” icon for two reasons… firstly it’s what I would call “mystery meat” navigation, the wrench meant something (settings/fixing etc..) those mean nothing to me at all. Secondly I produced a load of tutorials on chrome where I say “click on the wrench button”, now they are all wrong… thanks.

  • Bob John

    Here and in search I have the 3 lines (old wrench) but when I log into Facebook it is not there. How do I restore it so it shows up when I go into web-sites using the Google Chrome browser? Help needed!

  • Just flippin noticed it as reading this article, little freaky

  • hawkeye

    Chrome freeze, keep loading without stopping on the same page. Then is says unresponsive.
    I have tried couple of things from different forum, still does not work since three days.
    Need help

    • G.Chrome

      You can uninstall chrome completely from your computer ( delete registry keys also ) and re-install it. Works for me :) .

      • Joseph

        thanks. now I have to google “how do I delete registry keys?” :)

  • Armchair Legend

    I don’t think it’s a huge deal. Frankly I only found this article because curiosity finally got the better of me, not that I’m enraged about the change. I understand the desire for an icon that is more representative of a Main Menu, but I don’t think this “Hot Dog” icon is a, ermm, wiener. As others have noted, there are countless help files, online tutorials, etc that included the step “click on the Wrench button”. That icon was easily identifiable from that succinct description. On the other hand, I don’t think the new graphic is immediately recognizable as a “hot dog” and any other label would likely take more effort to describe in text than its predecessor. Again, for an experienced user, it simply doesn’t matter but I do see where it could create more confusion than it resolves for new users. Personally, I would have preferred something more identifiable, such as an icon of a cow. Then we could at least have it make sense in the context of a “Main Moo-nu”.

    • Bradley Haggerty

      Heh, frank. Hot dog pun.

  • Mel Wilson

    I liked the wrench. The three bars has me confused. Although I get the intention, I was used to the wrench icon and it became a familiar part of my Google experience every day. Sometimes change is not for the better!

  • Linda

    I see the hotdog but how do I make google my home page? There is not internet option that I can see.

  • Anon

    Actually, it bugging me. Whenever I look at it I can’t stop thinking of Jay-Z’s album “The Blueprint 3” (if you don’t understand, look it up). Now I feel compelled to go buy it :(

  • Chromatic

    Only problem is: They still call it the wrench menu in error messages. Eg.: “adjust your proxy settings: Go to the wrench menu > Options > Under the Hood”

    • connie kopp

      exactly what I was looking for to connect my printer. No under the hood!!!!

  • Well Google is changing to suit the industry standards. But what about the UI and conventions. There is absolutely no necessary to change that. Settings explained under the new replaced wrench icon – hotdog icon.

  • ridzy

    where is the wretch menu ?

  • the “hot dogs” icon doesn’t have “options” listed on it, so I can’t follow the process of making google my homepage since in order to do that, you should first click the tools icon (which isn’t there anymore) and choose “options” (which also isn’t there anymore). I don’t get it- don’t you want me to have google as my homepage? how can I do that now?

  • Guest

    why isn’t there any “options” on the new “hot dogs” icon? how can I set google as my homepage now? please help!

  • Phillip Mikesell

    they look yummy

  • ecky

    i constantly have to navigate these three lines to retrieve classic google. it shouldn’t have to be,I know, but it does. On Internet Explorer the gear, or cog, icon has simply to be clicked and a choice comes up stating ‘classic home’ click it,All is well.

    Can’t Google learn from the student once in a while.

    P.S. I still don’t have Google Classic

  • yeah

    where do I chg my homepage now? the menu I used before is gone?

  • Ar

    I cannot adjust to Chrome. Call it whatever, I need my menu bar, and while I had Firefox for many years, it finally collapsed for me. OK, so now have Chrome. What is supposedly so great about it? It lacks so much that while I used to enjoy my internet escapades, Chrome has ruined it for me.

  • krysia

    I get this LOUD advertisement about car insurance every time I sign on….how do I get rid of it for good???

  • Maureen King

    Google Chrome is the most un-people friendly system thus far. I cannot access my Favourites bar I had in Google nor can I find the Tools Menu and Options menu at all. This is not an upgrade in quality but a backward and downgrade from Googld.

    • George

      Nah you just dont know how to use it

      • Curtis Jenkins

        I doubt it, George! I have a PhD in Chemistry so I can probably understand most anything written in an organized fashion which this is not!

  • Guest

    I’ve deleted my history in every possible way I can think of, but for whatever reason it still keeps showing up in the address bar!

  • Anu Priya

    sir in that find menu i can’t able to find wrench menu can you please help me

  • frankfrank

    So, nobody has said anything about how to change anything with the WRENCH ICON GONE? I can’t set my home page, I can’t manage my toolbars, I can’t do any of that at all. Help?? It’s a pain that anytime I want to get back to my home page (signed-in email account), if I’ve navigated away from it, I have to either hit the back arrow whatever number of times, or completely sign back in to email. Please, please…I CAN’T EVEN FIND A “HOME PAGE ICON” to go back to, either. This is sooooo broken. Help…

  • frankfrank

    I also can’t find any way to get to options. Everything that I want to do, first says to click on the wrench icon.

    • Laura

      Exactly. Trying to change my options, I’ve had to google how to change options, then where’s the wrench, and now finding options. Way to go!

    • The Blogging Queen

      Me too. Was just trying to figure out how to sync my bookmarks from my Chrome browser on the laptop to my Android Phone’s Chrome browser. Every available piece of information is telling me to click the wrench. Um, there’s no wrench. Clicked the 3 stacked lines where it used to be and there is no such thing as “options” there in the dropdown menu.

  • Jim Culbertson

    Replacing the wrench with the “hot dog” is just stupid. Replacing an icon that one can guess what it does with one that looks like a graphic decoration signifying nothing is not smart.

    • Curtis Jenkins

      My comments to a tee! Total bullshit software, and I do know what I am talking about because I wrote software for many years in many different languages. It was also used by persons who spoke English, not hieroglyphics!!

  • Brian Francisco

    Guys help!! i cant connect to Proxy server… What should i do?

  • Mike_Travis

    I have not found any browser that is totally user friendly. Then there is the issue of pop up ads which I absolutely HATE, especially the damn videos!